Written by Rev. Mary Herbig

This past Sunday, we gathered as one ‘ohana to take a deep dive into our budget and to look at our future. We listened with anxiety to the struggles we face. We listened with discomfort to new ideas and callings. We listened with hope to the promise that God is at work within and through us.

Over the next several weeks, we will pray and discern together the leading of the Spirit, before we gather again on March 5th to vote about whether to redevelop portions of our campuses. As we spend this time listening together, I share this prayer by Walter Brueggemann with you again. It brings me comfort and reminds me that God doesn’t fit into our little box – God and God’s plans are big and scary and wonderful and exciting and very, very unpredictable. May it inspire you as it has me.

Not the God we would have chosen
By Walter Brueggemann

We would as soon you were stable and reliable.

We would as soon you were predictable
and always the same toward us.

We would like to take the hammer of doctrine
and the nails of piety
and nail your feet to the floor
and have you stay in one place.

And then we find you moving,
always surprising us,
always coming at us from new directions.

Always planting us
and uprooting us
and tearing all things down
and making all things new.

You are not the God we would have chosen
had we done the choosing,
but we are your people
and you have chosen us in freedom.

We pray for the great gift of freedom
that we may be free toward you
as you are in your world.

Give us that gift of freedom
that we may move in new places
in obedience and in gratitude.

Thank you for Jesus
who embodied your freedom for all of us. Amen.